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Census bureau to close six offices nationwide, one in Charlotte

A nearly two-year-long effort to realign a number of regional Census offices will end next month, with the census office in Charlotte shutting its doors by the end of  January.

“We undertook this alignment to take advantage of the technology available to us while preserving the quality of our data collection activity in the field,” said Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau’s acting director. “In the current era of modern technology we are able to do more with less.”

Staff at the Census Bureau’s regional offices collect data for surveys, update geographic features important to the Bureau, disseminate statistics created from the data collection and serve as contacts for local media and local organizations to improve participation in censuses and surveys.

Approximately 270 permanent positions were cut as a result of the closing of six regional offices.

About 88 of the permanent affected employees have been placed into positions at Census Bureau headquarters or in one of the six remaining regional offices, while others have taken advantage of a buyout and early retirement options approved by the Office of Personnel Management.

Census officials say they are moving to a new business model where employees work out of their homes rather than in regional offices.

The effort is estimated to save between $15 and $18 million each year.

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